THE 2nd Agri-Aqua Investment Forum in Iloilo Province eyes to score global investments for local products.
The forum themed as “Accelerating Agricultural Investments for Global Market” is organized by the Panay Organic Producers Association (POPA) in partnership with the provincial government. It will be on Nov 7 to 9, 2018 at the Iloilo Convention Center.
Other partner agencies are the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Department of Tourism (DoT).
POPA executive director Larry Nacionales said, there are plenty of local commodities that could compete globally given the technical assistance.
These are coconuts, aquaculture products, mangoes, and rice, among others. He said the Philippines used to be the number one supplier of coconuts worldwide but Thailand is running past in terms of production.
“There are a lot of suitable commodities that we could promote globally, if we provide them the right science,” he said.
Nacionales said POPA is advocating that the government should invest in research and development.
Roughly 500 participants all over the country are expected to attend the forum, including foreign investors. But the organizers invited around 2,100 interested applicants.
POPA President Buen Modejar said, the forum will not just focus on organic agriculture but on providing markets and niche to these products such as the restaurants and hotels.
Mondejar said there is a need for another investment forum considering the success of the first one in 2016 where they were able to gain roughly P50 million investment.
This year, POPA expects the investment gains to double at P100 million.
“There is a high demand for local products but the supply is low. And there are plenty of empty agricultural lots here that have yet to be maximized,” he said.
Mondejar said there will be representatives from foreign embassies and attaches that will attend the national event.
“They might be interested to invest in the country. I do not know interests but we will be presenting to them opportunities in agriculture,” he said.
Annette Galvez-Dacul, senior economist at the University of Asia in the Pacific Center for Food and Agribusiness will discuss on the “Emerging Commodities for Global Markets.”
There will also be discussions on exploiting the potentials of the growing local and international markets on particular commodities like coffee, cacao, aquaculture, falcatta tree, swine, and poultry, among others.
Other topics will be advancing countryside development through agribusiness financing, agri-farm tourism, technologies available to boost investment, among others.
On the third day, there will be tours on three organic farms in the province namely Ephrathah Farms in Badiangan, Orchard Valley in Pavia, and Midway Farm in Passi City.